Pilot for a day in a World War II DC-3

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Seattle Center and South Lake Union

Photos and text by Steven H. Robinson

Twelve Pilots for a Day, winners of an essay contest, were able to fly a Douglas DC-3/C-47 twin engine passenger/transport plane over Seattle and the San Juan Islands as part of an event by the Historic Flight Foundation.

Jeffrey Wheeler from Everett wore his grandfather’s US Army Air uniform jacket on the flight and Reen Doser from Snohomish wore her father’s wings from United Airlines where he flew DC-3s.  Her father and mother met at United, he as captain and she as a stewardess.

Fred Charles of Seattle
is back in the pilot's seat
after 65 years

Fred Charles from Seattle was a C-47 pilot during World War II in Asia and the Pacific. He was one of the first American transport pilots to land in Japan, as they delivered communication equipment to be used on board the USS Missouri during the Armistice signing.

Ursula Denison was a refugee from Eastern Europe and was flown from West Berlin to Frankfurt Germany as a girl. She related that in 1967 she was working for Johnson & Johnson making $1.10 an hour. It took her 46 years to fly in the Johnson and Johnson executive airplane.

Trenton Slocum of Edmonds in the pilot's seat

Riding in the airplane was quiet and relaxing with plush executive chairs and plenty of legroom.  The “pilots” got to see the three sports stadiums (Century Link, Safeco and Husky Stadium) from a much lower altitude than commercial airplanes can fly over the city.

The Historic Flight Foundation will be sponsoring a vintage fly-in on Saturday August 31st where you can see the DC-3 and 60 other aircraft. See Vintage Aircraft Weekend for additional details.

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